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Dad Called Out For Refusing To Fund Estranged Stepdaugther’s Wedding After Paying For Siblings

A bride seen from behind, walking outside.
Vesnaandjic/Getty Images

We’d like to think that our family will always be there for us.

Even if we might hit a rough patch, or even break contact with them for an extended period of time, we’d like to think that love and forgiveness will always mend any bridges that might have been burnt.

Unfortunately, some people aren’t always willing to forgive and forget, or might not be so willing to help if people come back from no contact with one, specific request.

Redditor TrashFeeling5171 never managed to establish a good relationship with his stepdaughter.

Unwilling to accept him as her new father, particularly after her own father died, the original poster (OP)’s stepdaughter eventually went completely no contact with him.

Until recently, that is, where she asked for the OP’s help regarding a very important life passage.

Help the OP told her he was unwilling to give in no uncertain terms.

Wondering if he was too hard on his stepdaughter, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for telling my stepdaughter she can have her dead dad pay for the wedding?”

The OP explained why he refused to pay for his stepdaughter’s wedding, and who he told her could pay for it instead:

“I may have gone too far.”

“My now wife divorced her ex when her three kids were young.”

“He was an addict.”

“She met me a few years later and we dated for two years before she introduced me to her kids.”

“Two kids really hit it off and Kelly did not like me.”

“Just passive aggressive stuff but it became much worse when her dad passed away.”

“She did not take it well and resulted in a lot of outbursts, I wasn’t living there at this time.”

“She went into therapy but overall didn’t seem like it helped.”

“She threatens to run away if I married their mom.”

So I stayed away but continued to date their mom.”

“Overtime the two other kids started to stay at my place in order to get away from the drama.”

“It was a rough time for them and we bonded even more.”

“When Kelly was 18 the two of use decided to stop putting our life on hold and get married.”

“Kelly hated this.”

“The other kids were a happy though.”

“Every interaction I have had with her has been unpleasant and I do not see her as one of my kids.”

“I eventually adopted her siblings when they were 16 and 17.”

“They asked me.”

“During that time she destroyed a lot of her siblings stuff for betraying their dad.”

“Now I rarely see her and I prefer it that way.”

“The two kids have a one and off relationship.”

“I payed for my two kids wedding.”

“I got a call from her asking me to pay for her wedding since I paid for the other two.”

“I told her no.”

“This started an argument about how it’s unfair.”

“I had enough and told her to have her dad pay for the wedding.”

“She hung up after some lovely names.”

“I may have gone to far which makes me a jerk.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

The Reddit community was somewhat divided as to whether or not the OP was the a**hole for telling Kelly her dead dad could pay for her wedding.

Some felt that the OP was absolutely right to refuse to pay for Kelly’s wedding, particularly as she only reached out to him for that reason alone, even if they felt his telling her that her dead dad could pay for it was going a little too far.

“Yeah, it was a stupid, hurtful, and immature thing to say, but I get it.”

“I understand this was the oldest girl and probably closest to her father, and of course, she probably resented the divorce, but that’s something you should grow out of.”

“Once her father died, you’d think it might’ve opened up her heart a little, but apparently that was not to be.”

“and you know so be it.”

“It’s her life. It’s her choice.”

“But it takes a lot of balls to then come skipping back and wanting you to pay for her wedding!”

“I don’t blame you for refusing, but I am curious as to what your wife thinks.”

“A tiny yta on the comment.”

“A big NTA on not paying for the wedding.”- Pure-Relationship125

While others had trouble sympathizing with either Kelly or the OP, feeling the OP definitely went too far, but finding it low of Kelly to expect the OP to pay for her wedding after years of no contact.


“Kelly obviously took it too far by practically forbidding her mom from moving on and for punishing her siblings for deciding to bond with you, but still, having a dead parent is something traumatic and you bringing it up just to make a point in an argument is really low.”- Lopsided_Put4682


“You were in the right to say no.”

“You’d have been in the right to say ‘because I pay for my kids’ weddings’.”

“But taking a swing at her dead dad was a bit too far.”- FacetiousTomato

Then there were those who felt that the OP was clearly the a**Hole, not only feeling that bringing up Kelly’s late father was a low blow, feeling that their fraught relationship was as or more his fault as it was Kelly’s, as he seemed to ignore her grief and trauma.

“I would love to hear Kelly’s side of this story.”

“She sounds traumatized, plus this narrative also sounds like you treated her differently from her siblings.”

“Likely from day one if she was the ‘difficult kid’.”

“The outcast in her family for struggling with complicated grief over the loss of her unworthy father.”

“So I feel like we’re not seeing the whole story through your perspective, and I can’t make a judgement about the family dynamics at large because of that.”

“But for the comment itself, yes of course YTA, you know that.”

“I think you meant to be cruel hoping she’ll just stop calling you.”- Open-Bath-7654

“YTA, but not because you said no.”

“Because you weaponized a profound, paradigm-shifting loss.”

“This isn’t about how a kid behaved toward you.”

“She was a KID, even if she came with more issues than you’d liked her to have.”

“And she clearly had a lot going on.”

“You have every right to keep your distance because of it, but let’s not pretend this was pettiness- it was cruelty, and it was meant to be cruel.”

“I had a lot going on around the same ages, and I didn’t handle it well.”

“My mom got very sick very quickly.”

“I was hiding the fact that I was in an abusive relationship.”

“And my dad was a functional alcoholic.”

“I acted out, a LOT.”

“I turned to drugs myself.”

“I got my act together after a little while, but not everyone does.”

“Not everyone feels like they can.”

“These types of ACEs cause paradigm shifts that are so fundamental that they can very easily alter the course of a person’s life.”

“You dated a woman with kids.”

“That doesn’t often mean you ride off into the sunset with your newfound love and the kids become yours as if they always were.”

“It’s nice when that happens, but even when it does it comes with a LOT of pain.”

“And her behavior does sound like she had her father in her ear, blaming her mother, possibly even you, for his addiction.”

“Logically that makes very little sense, but to a kid?”

“We want to believe our parents would never lie to us so often will accept information that we wouldn’t accept from other sources.”

“She had issues.”

“Children of divorce and children of addicts often do.”

“And even if a good relationship was never going to happen, you’re still supposed to be the adult in the situation.”

“That doesn’t, to be clear, mean no boundaries.”

“You were right to say no. This is a good opportunity for her to learn that how she treats people will come back to her down the line.”

“You were not right to cruelly weaponize her dad’s death.”

“What was your goal there?”

“To cause harm.”

“Not just that.”

“To cause as much harm as you possibly could.”

“That does make you an a**.

“Even if you were saintly in all of this, it was beyond cruel.”

“And it says a lot about who you choose to be.”

“I don’t buy the ‘I was innocent right up until this second’ for a single moment btw- behavior like that doesn’t just make itself known after a decade or so.”

“I know that people like to portray themselves as the victim or the hero, never anything between, but you don’t jump from benevolent, innocent savior of the family who was just a poor victim of one member (who happened to be a CHILD, by the way- a grown man portraying himself as a victim of a child?”

“I’ve seen that before and it’s often in someone who chose himself a scapegoat who didn’t stay where he thought she should), as you are trying to portray yourself to be, to a sociopathic level of cruelty inside of a 5 minute phone call.”

“You just don’t.”

“I don’t believe you were an innocent who treated this child with kindness and compassion right up until you decided to be the polar opposite of who you portray yourself to be.”

“Your money is yours, and you can do whatever you want with it.”

“You can have boundaries.”

“You can choose not to pay for the wedding of a person that you don’t want to pay for.”

“But the cruelty makes you an a**hole.”

“And I suspect that you were far crueler to her throughout her life than you are trying to make people believe.”

“Cruelty doesn’t just randomly appear in an otherwise kind person.”

“It just doesn’t.”- MadameTrafficJam

One would have imagined that Kelly might have leveled her expectations of the OP paying for her wedding just a bit, considering they were never exactly close.

However, seeing as. the OP openly declared he does “not see her as one of [his] kids”, one has to wonder how much of an effort he was making to improve their relationship.

Regardless, his remark about Kelly’s late father may have likely prevented any hope of a relationship between them going forward.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.